Gijón: Chris Waitt's tragicomic private life

Article published on Nov. 24, 2008
community published
Article published on Nov. 24, 2008
At a time when reality shows no longer shock and social networking websites give new meaning to the old concept of “private life”, the 46th Gijón Film Festival has also contributed to the reflection on the limits of privacy at the beginning of the 21st century by including, in competition, Chris Waitt’s British film A Complete History of My Sexual Failures.

The 33-year-old Waitt – winner of the BAFTA Best Short Film Award in 2005 for Dupe – decided to make a documentary about his catastrophic love life, in an attempt to understand why all his former girlfriends left him. Doing so was supposed to be a cathartic process for Waitt, whose style is simultaneously shameless and full of self-mockery; a Brit hardcore version of Woody Allen, equally self-obsessed but refusing to hide behind the masks of the characters.

As the process of interviewing former girlfriends evolves, A Complete History becomes a parade intimate experiences, from reading love letters to all sorts of therapies aimed at solving the problem of his erectile dysfunction.

Although Waitt insists everything you see is the truth and nothing but the truth, viewers cannot help but wonder where reality ends and fiction begins. “This is not a docudrama, it’s a real documentary. One usually confesses his sinners to a priest. I have decided to do it to the public,” said Waitt at the film’s press conference.

Produced by Warp X Productions and Film4 with the support of the UK Film Council, A Complete History is scheduled for to be released in Spain in February 2009 by the Madrid-based Avalon.

Gijón’s opening weekend was also marked by the screenings of other European (co)productions such as Tulpan, Nowhere Man and Three Monkeys [trailer], all in the official selection.

Sidebar titles include Dunya and Desie [trailer, making of] (in Enfants Terribles), The Blue Bull (Llendes) and the anticipated local premiere of Lucrecia Martel’s third feature, The Headless Woman, co-produced by Augustin Almodóvar of El Deseo.

Vitor Pinto